Mauritius is a bountiful paradise with a booming economy.
Mauritius, a nation of volcanic islands, is an island nation off the coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about 900 kilometres east of Madagascar. In addition to the island of Mauritius, the Republic includes the islands of Cargados Carajos, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands.
The island of Mauritius is renowned for being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and for having been the only known home of the dodo. First sighted by Europeans around 1600 on Mauritius, the dodo became extinct less than eighty years later. Mauritius is famous for its water sports, clear warm waters and white beaches. There are numerous restaurants, trendy bars and clubs to keep one entertained.
The business-friendliness of the island and its competitive positioning as an attractive investment location have been recognised in the country’s enviable 17th ranking in the World Bank “Ease of Doing Business” Survey of 2010.
While investment opportunities abound on shore, Mauritius is also ideally positioned, both culturally and geographically, to benefit from opportunities emerging on the vast African continent.
The coming to maturity of the Mauritius International Finance Centre also provides a unique opportunity for tax-efficient investment holding and structuring across the world’s most promising economies.
Republic of Mauritius
Capital City: Port Louis
Official Languages: English
Government: Parliamentary republic
– President: Anerood Jugnauth
– Prime Minister: Navin Ramgoolam
– Total: 2,040 km2
– 2009 estimate: 1,288,000
GDP (PPP) 2008 estimate
– Total: $15.273 billion
– Per capita: $12,011
GDP (nominal) 2008 estimate
– Total: $8.738 billion
– Per capita: $6,871
A cradle where some of the world’s oldest civilisations have converged, Mauritius is cited as an example of a multi-cultural society that enjoys peaceful co-existence with freedom of expression and religion.
The population boasts its origins from Europe, Africa, India and China. Such a cosmopolitan legacy makes for legendary hospitality for Mauritians have the friendliest disposition.
The island is internationally recognised for its political stability, ever since its independence in 1968. It has a democratically elected government. Elections are held every 5 years. The predominance of the rule of law makes it a safe place to live.
As a result of free education at primary and secondary levels, the country has the highest adult literacy rate in the whole of Africa. Its young, disciplined and educated workforce is fluent in English and French, while many speak a third language, namely Hindi, Mandarin, Urdu or another European language.
There exists a talented pool of multidisciplinary professionals trained in the best universities around the world.
Mauritius is presently categorised as an upper-middle income country with a per capita income of USD 8,000. Over the last five years, it has recorded an average GDP growth of 4.5%. From a mono-crop economy, resting on the cultivation of sugarcane, the island has successfully transformed itself into a robust, diversified and innovation-driven economy based on agribusiness, exportoriented manufacturing, tourism, financial services, property development & real estate, ICTBPO, freeport & logistics and seafood. Niche opportunities exist in emerging sectors such as healthcare, life sciences, knowledge, renewable energies, marinas and film making.
The business environment is being constantly enhanced with a view to strengthening the island’s position as an attractive investment location. Sound economic policies and good governance have made it the most business-friendly destination in Africa.
According to the latest World Bank Doing Business Survey 2013, Mauritius ranks 1st in Africa and 19th globally in terms of ease of doing business. The Fraser Institute also ranked Mauritius 1st in Africa and 8th worldwide in 2012 on its chart of economic freedom.
Today, a foreign investor can set up his business and be operational in just 3 working days. Furthermore, a harmonised low tax regime of 15% is applicable to both individuals and corporates. Dividends are tax-free. There is no exchange control and export-oriented activities benefit from both duty-free input and duty-exempted equipment.
Mauritius is also recognised as a well-regulated, trusted, and transparent international financial centre and has enacted anti-money laundering and antiterrorism laws.
To date, Double Taxation Avoidance Agreements (DTAAs) have been signed with 41 countries while Investment Promotion and Protection Agreements (IPPAs) have been signed with 37 countries.
In addition, export-oriented companies have preferential market access to the European Union, the USA through the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act, the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Regarding infrastructure, Mauritius has a well-developed road network, a modern and efficient seaport with deep-water quays, direct air connections around the world, high bandwidth fobre cable connectivity and a reliable land and mobile telephone network.
Through compliance with international standards and with best practices in place, the Government ensures that doing business becomes a unique experience for investors.